The maximum capacity of an individual or population to reproduce under optimal environmental conditions. Populations rarely reproduce at their biotic potential because of limiting factors such as disease, predation, and restricted food resources.
the maximum reproductive capacity of an organism under optimum environmental conditions. It is often expressed as a proportional or percentage increase per year, as in the statement "The human population increased by 3 percent last year." It can also be expressed as the time it takes for a population to double in size (doubling time). In disease-related studies it is comparable to the "force of infection," the number of susceptible individuals each infected individual further infects.
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